The Fourth Commandment
Part 2: The Particular Morality of this Commandment
Copyright © 1997 Naphtali Press
2. The Particular Morality of this Commandment
II. Having cleared that this command is moral not as to the setting apart of time for the duty (which every command supposes), but of so much time, particularly stinted and defined in the command, we come now to see what is specially commanded here; the command divides itself in a mandate, or mandatory part in the first words thereof, and in an amplificatory part, wherein it is more fully cleared and pressed. The first is, Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it, or keep it holy. For the opening up and winning at the clear meaning whereof, we would consider three words.
1. The first is, what it is to remember or (as it is infinitively set down) remembering to remember. This is prefixed and would look rather like the inferring of something commanded already, than the new instituting of a command, and so indeed it seems to suppose a day formerly instituted and set apart for God (as was hinted before) which by this command his people are put to mind. It does beside impart these four with a respect as it were to four times.
(1) A constant and continued duty at all times, and in all days, that is, that we would remember that God has set apart a seventh day for himself, and therefore every day we would remember to cast our affairs so, as they may not be impediments to us in the sanctifying of that day, and we would endeavor always to keep our hearts in such a frame as we may not be discomposed, when that day shall come. And this affirmative part of this command binds semper or always, and its negative ad semper, on other days as well as on the Sabbath.
(2) It imports a timely preparing for the Sabbath, when it is a coming, or when it draws near. This remembering calls for something to be done in reference to it. Before it comes, a man by this is obliged to endeavor to have a frame of heart, that he may be ready to meet the Sabbath, and enter kindly to the duties of it when it shall come. Otherwise, if it comes on him while he is in his common or coarse frame, and not fitted for it, it will say he has not been remembering it before it came.
(3) Remembering imports an intenseness and seriousness in going about the duties of the day, when it comes, and that it should be with all carefulness sanctified, and that men should be mindful of the duties called for, lest their hearts divert from them, or slacken, bensil and grow formal in them, whereby men’s inclination to forget this duty, or to be superficial in it, is much hinted at. This word we take to be moral, being a means for furthering the great duty aimed at of sanctifying the Lord’s Day or Sabbath coming.
(4) Remembering may import this, that the Sabbath even when it is past, should not be soon forgotten, but that we should look on the Sabbath past to remember it, lest by loosing the fruits of it, when it is by, we make ourselves guilty of profaning it.
2. The next word is, the day of the Sabbath. By Sabbath here is meant rest, as it is exponed by the Apostle (Heb. 4), and that not every rest, but a holy rest from our own works, that these may be access to positive sanctifying of that day, for the sanctifying of that day is the end, and this is but a means and necessary supposed help, without which the day cannot be sanctified in holy duties; holy duties and our own works being for the time inconsistent. Besides that rest on this day is not only called for, as ceasing from our ordinary affairs in the time of worship is called for on any other day, but more especially and solemnly in respect of the day itself. For at other times our duties require a time for them, and therefore that time cannot be employed in another ordinary work and in worship also but here the Lord requires time and rest to be sanctified, and therefore we are to perform holy duties in that time, because it is to be sanctified. Other times and rests are drawn after worship, this time and rest draws worship necessarily after it. Hence it was that only the Jews’ feasts were called Sabbaths, I mean religious Sabbaths, not civil or political, as their years were, because they included a rest upon destination to an holy life.
That which is mainly questionable here is concerning the day, expressed in this command, concerning which may be asked: 1. What sort of day, or the quamdiu. 2. How often or the quoties. 3. What day of the seven or the quando. 4. When we are to reckon its beginning.
1. For answer to the first we say, there are two sorts of days mentioned in the Scripture. One is artificial of twelve hours, so the Jews divided their day, making their hours longer or shorter as the day was long or short, but they kept up the number of their hours always. The other is a natural day, which is a seventh part of the week, and contains twenty-four hours, taking in so much time as intervenes between the sun’s beginning to ascend, after midnight, the nocturnal solstice, till it passes the meridianal altitude, which is the sun’s vertical point for that day, till it comes to that same very point of midnight again, which is the sun’s natural course every twenty four hours, comprehending both the artificial day, which is from midnight to midday, and the artificial night also, which is from midday to midnight again.
The day mentioned here is the natural day, because it is a seventh day, proportionable to each of the six days, given unto us, and they with the seventh making up the week. It must contain as many hours as any of the rest. But the six days wherein God made Heaven and Earth, etc., are natural days therefore the seventh day, to wit, the day of rest, must be so also.
Let us only for further clearing and for directing our own practice, speak here a word or two more: (1) We say it is a whole natural day, that is, as it is usually employed by us on any of the six days for our own works, that as we spend so much time in our ordinary callings on other days, so would we employ so much in God’s worship, secret, private, and public on that day; what proportion of time we use to give, or may and should give ordinarily to our calling on other days, we would give as much to God and his worship, to our souls, and our spiritual state on the Lord’s Day or Sabbath.
(2) Therefore there is not to be understood here a rigid pressing of all these hours to be spent in duties of immediate worship, but our working and waking time, having a respect to our infirmities, and also our duties, lest under pretext of infirmity we encroach upon God’s day, and give him less than we give to ourselves, or should and may give him. And so in Scripture they accompted [accounted], what is between rising and going to bed, as still the work of one day, or one day’s work. For as God in conceding six days to us, has yet so done it, as there may be a reserve of particular times for worship called for from us to him every day, for keeping up our communion with him; so on the seventh day does the Lord allow so much conveniency of sleep and other refreshing as may be subservient for the main end of the day, these being works of mercy and necessity, which Christ allowed on the Sabbath, which was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
(3) Yet care would be had lest under pretext of these we exceed, and apply too much of what is the Lord’s unnecessarily for ourselves and on our lusts; and if we will wake for ordinary business, and keep upon such and such a diet, other days, yea if we might do it, or others no more strong than we, do it, the pretense of infirmity will not excuse us, especially seeing it hardly can be often instanced that timeousness at God’s work in that day, or earnestness and continuance in it, has proved hurtful, which we may account as a part of God’s blessing on the seventh day, that less meat and sleep may be as refreshing as more at another time. Thus much for the quamdiu, or the continuance of the day.
2. It may be inquired how often by virtue of this command that day does recur? If it is one of seven? Or if it is the very seventh? And so if this day is to be taken definitely for the very seventh day after the creation, or indefinitely for one day of seven, as the Lord should otherwise determine, or had elsewhere determined; astriction then to a day, but not any particular day by virtue of this command, but to such a day as was formerly described or prescribed from the beginning, during the Jewish state, and to such another day as God should after Christ’s coming reveal unto them, and pitch upon for his service? For taking it for granted, that a seventh day as moral is commanded, it follows to be inquired, whether it is the seventh in number, that is, one of seven, or the seventh in order, that is, the seventh day?
For answering this we would premit: (1) That there is a great difference between these two; the one, to wit, that there is a seventh does concern the matter and substance of piety; the other, to wit, which of these seven it is, is more circumstantial and is alike, if it is appointed by God, and has the blessing.
(2) That it is usual for God in his commands concerning worship, not at first to express a particular definitely, but to deliver it in the bosom of a general indefinitely, mediately, and by clear consequence, as it were several species under one genus.
As for instance,  when (Deut. 12:5) he commands his people to offer their sacrifice in the place which he should choose, here there is a stinting or astricting [limiting or restricting] of them to the place which God should reveal unto them. This before the temple was built tied them to the ark, and sometimes to one place, and sometimes to another, as it was removed and placed, till it was brought to Jerusalem. But after the temple was built and chosen for the place, it astricted men to that. Yea when the temple is destroyed, and Christ come, it astricts men to no place by [over] another, but it obliges men to worship God everywhere in spirit and truth. It’s true, this is a ceremonial precept, and will not hold in all things, especially as to its abolition, yet while it stood by a positive authority or precept, it shows that God may command a particular, as one day of seven, yet not instantly so determine, but that one and the same command may enforce to diverse days at diverse times, upon supposition of God’s manifesting his mind, even as by one command men were astricted successively to diverse places.
 See it instanced in the second command, wherein God requires such a worship, as he himself should prescribe, which is the moral affirmative part of it, and discharges all worship by images, that is its moral negative part thereof; by virtue whereof believers were then tied to offer sacrifices, to circumcise, to keep the Passover, etc., but now believers are tied to Baptism, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, etc; yet by virtue of one and the same command. So here, that command which requires the seventh day from the Jews, may require the first day from us Christians for the Sabbath; because these particulars are not expressly, directly, and immediately called for by these commands, but indirectly and by consequence. Yet this second command ties the Jews to abstain from blood, and to circumcise, before the ceremonial law was added to them, because these commands were formerly revealed to them, but it tied them to these accidentally (to say so) and by consequence only, even so we say of the fourth command as to the seventh day, it being instituted before. Consider for this Ex. 16:26, where six days for gathering of manna, and a seventh for rest, are spoken of.
 A third instance is in tithes, which was the Lord’s requiring a part of their means or substance, as this was a part of their time, he there required the tenth part of their increase, as here he does the seventh part of their time. Yet God in proportioning their estates, did not particularly limit to any exact and precise order, but as to this proportion of their estates whatever they were; so we say here, had not the day been determined otherwise than by this command, it would not have implied any particular definite day of the seven.
(3) We premit that though the seventh day is called moral, as is expressed in the command, or understood, yet it is but moral-positive, and so alterable at the will of the Lawgiver, and therefore the question would not be much different, if acknowledging the seventh day to be commanded to the Jews, as well as one of seven, we yet asserted the seventh to be discharged, and one of seven to be still retained, for so one of seven would be binding now, and not the seventh.
(4) Yet lest we should seem to admit some[thing] changeable in the very command itself precisely considered, we would put difference between the commanding part of the law, and its explicatory part. The command may be moral and indefinite, although some things in reasons and motives were not so; as in the preface which enforces all the commands, and in the promise annexed to the fifth, there was something peculiar to that people; yet we cannot cast off all because of that. Suppose there had no more been in this fourth command, but remember the day of rest to keep it holy, that would not have inferred the seventh day, though we think the Jews, because of its former sanctification, would have been obliged to keep that day by virtue of this command. And suppose that in the explications or reasons there may be something added peculiar to that people (which cannot be a seventh day, but at the most (if anything) the seventh day) yet that which is in the commanding part, will still stand moral, to wit that the day of rest should be remembered. And if it can be made out that it was determined to the Jews to sanctify the seventh day (though it were in the reasons added) and to us afterward to sanctify the first day, they will be both found to be a seventh day, and a day of rest, and therefore to be remembered and to be sanctified. This would resolve into the same thing on the matter; yet we conceive it safest to assert that in this command God has set apart a seventh day to himself, which is to be sanctified by us, by our application of it to holy uses, but does not by it expressly, directly, and primarily bind to the seventh day, but secondarily and by consequence; to wit, as it was otherwise before declared by him, and so it binds now that same way to the sanctifying of the first day of the week, as being now revealed by God, just as in the former instances or examples we touched upon.
3. That a seventh day (whatever it is which is chosen of God) and not the seventh day in order, is to be sanctified by virtue of this command, as enjoining that, as the substance and matter of it, may be made out by these arguments.
Argument One. That which is the substance of this command is moral, and binds perpetually, as we have formerly proved (for if its substance is not moral, then itself is not so either); but that a seventh day should be sanctified has been maintained in the Church by the apostles in their retaining the first day of the week, while the seventh has been laid by and never used; therefore it was not the seventh, but a seventh day which was primarily commanded in this command, so that no particular day is instituted here more than any positive service is prescribed in the second command; yet the observation of what was prescribed, or should be prescribed, was included. Even so it is here in reference to that day; and as we may infer that the second command enjoined not such and such ordinances primarily, because they are abolished; and that such as were negative or prohibited, as not making of images, are moral, because they are continued, and that the seventh was not so commanded because it is rejected and laid aside.
This argument especially made out in the designation of the Lord’s Day will prove this; for if that seventh day was the substance of this command, then either it is to be continued as moral, which were against the current of the New Testament, wherein, as Christ has set forth different ordinances, so a different chief solemn time for worship; or we must say that this fourth command belongs not to us at all, the contrary whereof we have made out. It must then follow, that it was not the seventh day, but a seventh day which this command respects, which therefore belongs to us, as it did to the Jews, as well as any other command (and particularly the second command) does.
Argument Two. If God has put a difference some way between the Sabbath commanded here, and the day of his own rest, the seventh day, then it would seem it’s not that day which it commanded. But he has put a difference, (1) in the mandatory part, Remember. What? Not the seventh day, but the Sabbath day, or day of rest. (2) In the blessing, it is not said, he blessed the seventh day, but the Sabbath; therefore is that difference so palpable, as being specially intended, whereas if the scope of the command were only the seventh day, it had been much more clear to have set it down otherwise; and no other probable reason of the difference can be given.
Argument Three. Either a seventh day is commanded primarily, and then the seventh but secondarily and consequentially, or the seventh was commanded the Jews primarily, and one of seven but consequentially (for both were commanded to them), and the first, to wit, the seventh as being in use before. But it cannot be said that the seventh day was primarily commanded, and one of seven consequentially only, because the general is first commanded, and then the particular. As when God required tithes of increase and cattle, by the command of tithes he first required the proportion, and then what particular proportion as to order, he himself should carve out to them. And so consequently came in the tenth beast (which passed under the rod) by a particular command (Lev. 27:32, 33), because there God determined. But if that tenth had not been set down, the general command had but determined upon the tenth of cattle, as of sheaves, or bolls of corn, even so it is as to the day, the command requires one of seven primarily; but that it is this seventh, follows from another determination.
Argument Four. If the moral grounds and reasons which press this command do most directly respect a seventh day, and not the seventh, then it’s not the seventh day, but a seventh day, which is primarily commanded in it (for the reasons bear out especially what is moral in it, and principally intended); but the moral reasons pressing it plead more strongly and directly for a seventh day, and but indirectly for the seventh day as it was then instituted; Ergo, etc. That the reasons do directly press a seventh day, and in a manner stick closely to it, may thus be made out.
(1) If the reasons equally press on us the first day and the observation of it (supposing it now to be observed according to divine warrant), then they do not primarily press the seventh; but the reasons equally press on us the first day, Ergo, etc., the major is clear, for the same thing cannot press two different days primarily nor equally. That the reasons concern us as well as them upon the supposition aforesaid, may thus appear:
 They are universal, and do not belong to that people more than any other, for the concession of six days is to all, and God’s example of resting concerns all.
 If the breaking of that command is equally sinful to us with them, and strike against the equity of the command, and God’s example in us as well as in them, then these reasons concern us also, and us as well as them. Now that they do so, and aggredge [aggravate] the sin of profaning our Lord’s Day as they did the sin of profaning their Sabbath, we must either grant, or we must deny that they concern us at all. Besides the weight of a challenge from the conscience by virtue of them, will put a tender heart out of question of it, seeing God gives us six days to ourselves, as he did to them, and his example proposed to us ought to be respected by us, as well as by them, and the same general equity is in both.
 If the reasons are a sufficient ground of allowance to us for six working days together, even the last six of the week, as they were to them for the first six; then they determine not the seventh day to be the day of rest primarily, but a seventh following these six of labor; but they do allow us warrantably to work six days, even the last six of the week, Ergo, they do not determine the seventh day primarily. The connection of the major seems to be very clear: (a) For first, these must stand and fall together, if the concession (to call it so) concerns us in the six working days, so must the reservation of a seventh. (b) As the concession concerns us in the six working days, so must the prohibition of work on a seventh of rest, for the one determines the other, if the concession is for six in number, so must the prohibition be for a seventh in number. But if the concession is of six in order, then it is the seventh that is to be reserved, and if the seventh is related to in the prohibition of work, then the concession must look to the first six days, which it does not, as we have shown. And therefore (c), seeing the six days concession looks to six in number, so many you may or shall work together, and no more, the prohibition must also respect the number, to wit, a seventh, and not the seventh day. The minor will be clear to the judicious considerer, by a particular application of the reasons of the fourth command.
 Further, if the concession respects not the number, but the order (as it must, if the prohibition of work on the seventh respects the order and not the number) then (a), what warrant have we for our six work days? If it is not here, where is it? For surely we cannot take God’s time without his order and warrant. (b) And more especially, then could not we by virtue of this command plead allowance for working six days different from the first six; if so, we would not be astricted by the command to sanctify one (seeing the one infers and determines the other, and they must go together), which were absurd.
(2) Yet again it may be made out that the reasons press a seventh, and not the seventh, by considering the words and force of the consequence in both.
 The first reason is, Six days shalt thou labor, but the seventh is the Lord’s. (a) It says not, take the first six, but of seven take six to labor, and give the Lord the seventh, for he has reserved it to himself. (b) The same equity is in the inference for a seventh, that is, for the seventh, if not more; he has given you six, therefore give you him a seventh, will conclude more formally than give him the seventh. A seventh is the seventh part of time as well as the seventh, which is the equity the command goes on. (c) Had the command intended to infer the seventh primarily, it would have been more clearly expressed thus, he has given you the first six, therefore give you him the seventh.
 The second reason from God’s example infers the same, he wrought six and rested the seventh, do you so likewise, and so these that work six and rest a seventh (as we now do) follow God’s example, as well as they that wrought six and rested the seventh did.
Argument Five. If the positive part of the command must be expounded by the negative, and contra, then it concerns one of seven, and not the seventh. But the first is true. (1) The positive part commands a day without respect to its order, therefore the negative does so. (2) The negative is to be resolved thus, ‘You shall not work above six,’ not thus, ‘You shall not work above the first six,’ as the event clears. (3) If it is not the first six, but six, that is in the concession, then it is not the seventh, but a seventh, that is in the inhibition; but the first is clear, Ergo, etc.
Argument Six. If this command, for the substance of it, concerns us as being moral, and binds us to the first day, and the sanctifying of it equally, as it obliged the Jews to the seventh; then it’s one day of seven and not the seventh, which is intended primarily by it. But it binds us to the first, Ergo, that it’s moral, and binds us now, is cleared. Thus (1), it either binds to this day, or to nothing; therefore it primarily grants six, and not the first six, for labor, and by clear consequence intends primarily a seventh, and not the seventh, for a day of rest. (2) If it is a sin against this command to break the Lord’s Day or Christian Sabbath, and profane it, then it obliges us to it, and that directly; for indirectly and by consequence the breach of the Sabbath is a sin against any, or all of the three former commands. (3) If the profaning of the Sabbath is forbidden on this ground, because it is the Lord’s (as it is in this command), then profaning of the Lord’s day is equally forbidden in it, because it’s the Lord’s, and is now appropriated to him according to his own will. (4) The testimony of men’s consciences, and the constant challenges of all (when tender) as being guilty of breaking this command whenever they profane the Lord’s Day, do convincingly hold forth that this command concerns us, and are as so many witnesses of it; and consequently prove that it is not the seventh day, but a seventh day, whether instituted, or to be instituted by God, which is the substance of it, and primarily commanded in it. For it’s never counted a breach of this command to neglect to sanctify the seventh day, neither do the consciences of well-informed Christians challenge for that, though they do most bitterly for the other, as is said.
In sum, suppose now the first day being instituted, that the command were to sanctify the Sabbath, we would understand it of the first day, because it’s already instituted; and the same reasons will enforce it, even so the seventh day came in then, because it was formerly instituted; beside the Sabbatism signifies not this or that day, but what day soever shall be by God solemnly set, or is set apart for holy rest; and the command will run for our observing the Lord’s Day, supposing its institution, as well as it did for that. Although it more directly ties them, yet it does so but as a reason, even as the preface prefixed to all the commands, and the promise affixed to the fifth, concern them literally; yet are binding in so far as they are moral, as appears by the apostles applying the last (Ephes. 6:2) without relation to that particular land or people, but as applicable and common to any land or people making conscience of obedience to God’s commands.
Objection. But here it may be objected, ‘The Jews kept the seventh day.’
Answer. (1) Not by virtue of this command, but by its prior institution, even as they were obliged to sacrifices and circumcision by the second command, though they were not particularly named in it. (2) So we are obliged to the keeping of the first day of the week by this fourth commandment. Yet it follows not therefore this is expressly commanded in it, there being indeed no particular day, primarily at least, instituted in it.
Objection. It may be objected, ‘But God rested the seventh day?’
Answer. (1) God’s rest is not principally proposed as the reason of that seventh day, but that he rested one day, after six employed in the works of creation. It’s to infer the number, not the order, otherwise it would not concern us. (2) The seventh relates not to the order of the days of the week, one, two, three, etc., but it’s called the seventh with respect to the former six of work.
Thus much for the quoties and quamdiu, how often the Sabbath recurs and what is the day.
4. It remains here to be inquired what is the beginning of the sanctification of this day (which belongs to the quando) or where from we are to reckon it, seeing it’s granted by all to be a natural day. Now it is questioned mainly whether its beginning is to be reckoned from evening about sun setting or darkness, to sun setting the next day, or if it is to be reckoned from morning, that is (as we fix it) when the sun begins to ascend towards us after midnight, which is morning largely taken, as it’s evening largely taken when the sun begins to decline after midday.
In this debate then, we take morning and evening largely, as they divide the whole natural day. So the morning is from twelve at night to twelve in the day, and the evening from twelve in the day to twelve at night. And it must be so here, for (1), Moses (Gen. 1) divides the natural day in morning and evening, which two put together, make up the whole day; and these six days, made up each of them morning and evening are natural days, the whole week being divided in seven of them; and that reckoning from God’s example is no doubt proposed for our imitation in this. Hence the morning watch was before day, and the morning sacrifice about nine of the clock, so the evening sacrifice was about three in the afternoon, and the evening watch about nine at night.
(2) It is granted by all, and is clear from this command, that as we account the six working days of the week, so must we account the seventh, for one must begin where another ends; and if one of them begin at the evening or morning, all the rest must do so likewise.
(3) We suppose the sanctifying of the ordinary Sabbath was from morning to evening, I say of the ordinary Sabbath, because for extraordinary Sabbaths, there were special reasons; as of the Passover (Ex. 12) and of the Atonement (Lev. 23), there were special reasons; and though otherwise they were to be sanctified as Sabbaths, yet that they were to begin in the evening before, was added as a special solemnity of these solemn times, and therefore the example or instance of these will not be concluded here to the prejudice of what we assert, but rather to the contrary, seeing there is a particular excepting of them from the ordinary rule, and the particular intimation of their beginning in the evening, will rather confirm our assertion, that the ordinary Sabbaths did begin in the morning.
(4) It’s not questioned, if on the evening before, people should be preparing for the Sabbath following, we said that this is included in the word remember; but if we speak of the Sabbath to begin at the evening before, then it will be comprehended as a part of the very day, and so it will conclude the work or observation of the day to close at the next evening.
Argument One. We conceive, especially to us Christians, the day is to begin in the morning, as is said, and to continue till the next morning, for which we reason thus: As other days begin, or days began at the first, so must this, but days ordinarily begin in the morning, Ergo, etc.
If the first six of Moses’s reckoning begin so, then this begins so also. But they do begin so, which may be cleared from Gen. 1, where the evening and the morning make the first day after the creation.
(1) If there the morning and the evening do fully divide the natural day, then the morning must go before the evening, every morning being for its own evening. But they do divide the natural day, all being comprehended under six days, Ergo, etc. The consequence is clear to natural sense, for the forenoon, which is the morning, must be before the afternoon, which is the evening. The ascending of the sun is surely before its declining, and seeing the morning natural (to speak so) of the natural day, is from the twelfth hour at night, this must be the beginning of the day.
Again, the question then, being only whether to reckon the evening or the morning first, it would seem necessary to reckon the morning first. For if the evening is first, that evening must either be (1) the evening of a day preceding morning, seeing every evening supposes a morning to go before it in proper speech (and I suppose the history of the creation, Gen. 1, is not set down in metaphorical terms); or (2), it must be an evening without a morning, and that in proper speech (here used) is absurd, and seems also to be as impossible in nature, to wit, that there should be a consequent morning or forenoon, as that there should be an effect without a cause; or (3), it must be the evening following its own morning, and so that morning must be last preceding the first evening recorded (Gen.1: the evening and the morning were the first day), which to affirm would not only be absurd, but would also manifestly fasten the loss of days time on the Scriptures calculation. And it seems hard in all speech and Scripture phrase, to put the evening before its own morning, seeing there must be both morning and evening in each day; neither does the Scripture speak any way of evening, but when it’s drawing towards night, which still supposes the morning of that same day to be passed. Or else we must divide the day in the middle of the artificial day, and make the natural day begin at twelve of the noon day, which will be as much against the Scripture phrase, that reckons still the whole artificial day as belonging to one natural day, the artificial day and night being the two parts of one whole natural day.
Answer. All the force of the opposite reason is this, the evening is first named, Ergo it is first. Moses’ scope is not to show what art of one day is before another, but to divide one day from another, and to show what goes to make a whole day, to wit, an evening and a morning, not a morning alone, but an evening added to the morning which preceded, that made the first, second, third day, etc., as one would reckon thus, there is a whole day, because there is both evening and morning. In this account it’s most suitable to begin with the evening, because it presupposes the morning, and being added to it, cannot but be a day, whereas it is not so proper to say morning with the evening, as evening now added to its morning completes the first day, and evening now being past as the morning before, God did put a period by and with the evening to the first day, it being the evening that completes the day, and divides it from the following day, and not the morning. As one would say, the afternoon with the forenoon makes a complete day, and the afternoon or evening is first named, because (1) the day is not complete without it, seeing it completes it; (2) because the day cannot be extended beyond it, now the first day is closed, because the evening of it is come.
Argument Two. What time of the day God began his rest, we must begin ours; but he began his in the morning of the seventh day, the artificial night having intervened between that and the sixth, which is clear. For (1), God’s resting this day is more than his resting in the other nights of the six days, it being granted by all that he made nothing in the night. (2) There had not otherwise been any intermission between his labor and his rest, which is yet supposed by distinguishing the days.
Again if by virtue of the command of a day to be sanctified, we should begin the night or the evening before then, these two or three absurdities would follow. (1) Then we would confound the preparation by the word remember, and the day together. (2) Then we Christians might also, by virtue of the concession of six days for work, begin to work the night before Monday, as the Jews on this supposition might have begun their work the night before Sunday. (3) Then we were almost no sooner to begin the sanctifying of the day, then to break it off for rest, and when its sanctification is closed, as soon to fall to our ordinary callings.
Argument Three. If by this command a whole natural day is to be employed for duties of worship, as another day is employed in our ordinary callings, then is it to begin in the morning, the antecedent will not be denied, the consequent is thus made good. If men account all the labor of their working time from one nights rest to another, to belong to one day, then must they begin in the morning, or else they must account what they work after the first evening to belong to another day. But that way of reckoning was never heard of, the twelfth hour belonging to that same day with the first hour.
Again if by this command a whole artificial day together (that is, our waking and working time between two nights) is to be employed for God’s worship, then its beginning must be in the morning, for if the latter or following evening belong to this natural day before sleeping time come on, then the evening before cannot belong to it, for it cannot have both. But by this command a whole waking day, or an artificial day is to be sanctified together, and the evening after it before waking time ends as well as the morning. Therefore it must begin in the morning and not on the evening before.
Further if by virtue of the concession of six working days we may not work the evening after, then the day begins in the morning, for the week day following must begin as the Sabbath did; but the former is true, Ergo, etc. These things will make out the minor, (1) it can hardly be thought consistent with this command to work immediately, when it grows dark before folks rest. (2) It’s said (Luke 23:56, 24:1) of the women that stayed from the grave till the first day of week, that they rested according to the commandment on the Sabbath day, and early in the morning came to the sepulcher. (3) Because Christ accounts a whole natural day that which lasts till men cannot work. (4) God’s working days (to say so) were such, he made not anything in the evening before the first day. (5) The ordinary phrase, tomorrow is the holy Sabbath (Exod. 16:23, etc.), shows that the present day will last till tomorrow comes, and tomorrow is ever by an intervening night. So if on the forbidden day men may not work till tomorrow, then that evening belongs to it by this command, and if on the sixth day the seventh is not come till tomorrow, that is, after the night intervenes, then it does not begin at evening; but so it is in these places and phrases.
Yet again, it’s clear that in all the examples of ordinary Sabbath keeping and sanctifying in Scripture, they began in the morning. For instance it is said (Ex. 16:27), Some of the people went out to gather on the seventh day, no doubt in the morning, for they knew well there was none of it to be found any day after the sun’s waxing hot; they might have dressed of it the night before, and not been quarreled with, they being forbidden gathering on the Sabbath. The proofs of the former argument give light to this also.
There are yet two arguments to be added, which so especially belong to us Christians, for clearing the beginning of our Lord’s Day to be in the morning; the first is taken from Christ’s resurrection thus:
Argument One. That day, and that time of the day, ought to be our Sabbath, and the beginning of it when the Lord began to rest after finishing the work of redemption, and arose; but that was the first day in the week, in the morning, Ergo, etc. This binds us strongly who take that day on which he arose to be our Christian Sabbath.
Argument Two. The second is taken from the history of Christ’s passion and resurrection together, wherein these things to this purpose are observable. (1) That he was laid in the grave on Friday night, being the preparation to the great Sabbath, which followed. (2) That the women who rested and came not to the grave till Sunday morning (to use our known names) are said to rest according to the commandment, as if coming sooner had not been resting according to it. (3) That his lying in the grave must be accounted to be some time before the Friday ended, otherwise he could not have been three days in the grave, and therefore a part of Friday night is reckoned to the first day, then the whole Sabbath or Saturday is the second, and lastly a part of the night to wit, from twelve o’clock at night, belonging to the first day or Sunday, stands for the third, and so he arose that morning, while it was yet dark, at which time or thereabouts, the women came to the grave, as soon as they could for the Sabbath, and therefore their seventh Sabbath day ended then, and the first day Sabbath began.